Practical Steps to Kill Sin

By John Piper. ©2013 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org

Relief: All true believers have sin remaining in them in this life. Romans 7:23 – “I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin which dwells in my members.”

Therefore we are commanded to constantly kill this sin (Romans 8:13; Colossians 3:5).

How Is This to Be Done?

1) Take heart from the truth that the old sinful you is decisively already dead (Romans 6:6; Colossians 3:3; Galatians 5:24). This means three things:

  1. the mortal blow to our “old man” has been struck;
  2. he will not succeed in domination now;
  3. his final obliteration is certain.

2) Consciously reckon the old man dead; that is, believe the truth of Scripture about the old man”™s death, and seek to live in that freedom (Romans 6:11).

3) Cultivate enmity with sin! You don”™t kill friends (Romans 8:13). Ponder how it killed your best friend, dishonors your Father, and aims to destroy you for ever.

4) Rebel against sin”™s coup. Refuse to be bullied by his deceits and manipulations (Romans 6:12). Fight your sinful impulses with all your might like a boxer fights an opponent and like a marathon runner fights fatigue (1 Corinthians 9:27; 2 Timothy 4:8).

5) Declare radical allegiance to the other side””God””and consciously put all your mind and heart and body at his disposal for righteousness and purity (Romans 6:13).

6) Don”™t make any plans that open the door for sin”™s entry (Romans 13:14). Don”™t prove your purity in a pornography shop.

7) Develop mental habits that continually renew the mind in God-centeredness (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 4:16). Fix attention daily on “the things of the Spirit” (Romans 8:5), “things that are above” (Colossians 3:2), “whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, gracious, excellent, praiseworthy” (Philippians 4:8).

8) Admit failure and confess all known sin every day (1 John 1:9). Ask for forgiveness (Matthew 6:12).

9) Ask for the Spirit”™s help and power in all these things (Romans 8:13; Galatians 5:17, 22; Ezekiel 36:27; Isaiah 26:12).

10) Be part of a larger and smaller fellowship where you are exhorted often to beware of the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:13).

11) Beware of “works of law”; but let all your warfare be “the work of faith“ (2 Thessalonians 1:11). That is, let your fight against sin spring from your confidence in the superior pleasures of closeness to Christ.

Pastor John